The State Department has ended the policy of referring to the West Bank and the Golan Heights as being “occupied” by Israel. In the Department’s annual report on global human rights issues, the Golan Heights are referred to as “Israeli-controlled.” A State Department official said that the change does not reflect a change in policy regarding the territories themselves.
“‘Occupied territory’ has a legal meaning to it,” said Department official Michael Kozak. “I think what they tried to do was shift more to just a geographic description.”
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